#BookReview: The Stallion and His Peculiar Boy by M.J. Evans #WWII @bookroar_tweets

Hi everyone. Today I have a book review for you from an author new to me, who I discovered via BookRoar, M J Evans. This is an interesting historical read with history about horses I never knew until now. Here’s my review >>>

About the Book:

World War II is raging. Hitler is hiding away the world’s most beautiful purebred horses in a little village in Czechoslovakia. Lipizzaners, Thoroughbreds and the prize Polish Arabians are being used in his experiments to create the perfect war horse. A peculiar twelve-year-old boy from the village named Teodor becomes the groom for one of those special horses – Witez II, one of the most famous Arabian stallions of all time. Witez helps the boy face his challenges and find his voice at a time when little is known about the condition now called “Autism.” The Stallion and His Peculiar Boy blends the suspense of a World War II military rescue operation with the subsequent challenges of resettlement in a new land. Click “Buy Now” on the right to begin the adventure!


My Review:


An Interesting Historical WWII Read

3.5 Stars

Personally, I would have preferred a book about the autistic boy rather than about the Arabian Stallion, Witez II (pronounced Veetez). The fascinating history of these thoroughbreds and Hitler’s breeding programs, which used stolen horses, could have still been told in vivid detail but with the added bonus of giving the reader a character they could relate to and connect with much more than they can with the horse as the main focal point. The author’s note indicates that Teodor is a fictional character while the horse actually existed; however, I feel much more could have been done to bring alive the experiences and struggles of those with Autism and their carers.

In summary, we have a war raging, an angry husband, a cowed mother, and a son with a condition nobody understood at the time … Autism. The author gives credible descriptions of the behavioural habits and all the other issues which arise from Autism, as well as the knock-on effects to the family and anyone who comes into contact with the twelve-year-old boy. Unfortunately, because the main focus followed the horse, the author missed a great opportunity to bring alive Teodor’s character for the reader.

On the whole, the writing comes across as passive, shifts scenes with no indication to orient the reader, and suffers from filler words and repetition. Despite all of that, the narrative manages to engage the reader and, certainly, intrigued me. Below are some lines which stood out for me …

‘I like a man of few words. They listen better.’

And …

‘The dog walked slowly over to the young man and sat beside him. His howling stopped. He had no more to say.’ … Sorrow so wonderfully expressed for man and dog.

And … 

‘Were it not for Witez, he might still be living in that room with no dreams at all.’ 

All in all, I found this a touching story about a fictional Autistic boy and a true-story of a horse. It brings the reader intriguing history while also being an entertaining read. I give The Stallion and His Peculiar Boy 3.5 stars, which I round up to 4 for rating purposes.


NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08B8BDLW1/

US https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08B8BDLW1/

I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 


25 Comments on “#BookReview: The Stallion and His Peculiar Boy by M.J. Evans #WWII @bookroar_tweets

  1. A fair review and one that I am sure will be useful to the author. The story sounds interesting, although I do not think it is for me. Many thanks, Harmony.

  2. I always enjoy your detailed reviews and your honesty about pointing out the flaws that detract from the reading. I too like the concept of the story, but with so many great books awaiting me to get to them, I’ll pass this one.
    I do hope you are feeling a bit better these days. <3

    • Thanks so much, Debby. I promise to shout from the rooftops when I get to a point I’m doing better! Hugs 🤗💕🙂

  3. Great insight, Harmony. Doesn’t sound like one I woukd want to read.

  4. Great review. I’m tempted to read it, but your well-explained warnings are making me think. It should be such a great story.

    • You’re so welcome. I’m sure my honesty isn’t always appreciated, lols. But I always look for the positives too! Hugs, Yvi 🤗💕🙂

  5. This sounds like an ambitious book, Harmony, that didn’t quite have the right focus. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the honest review. I just read a bookroar selection that I loved. If you want to try it out, it’s “A Low Diving Bird.” Happy Reading!

  6. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful review, Harmony. This must have been a complicated read; it would have been for me. 😊

  7. Interesting topic. I think I’d agree with you and would have preferred the focus be on the boy and used the horses as a parallel. Thanks for your thoughts, Harmony.

  8. Hi Harmony

    I agree with David, Harmony. It is a fair review, and I shall pass on reading the book.
    I did note your thoughts on passive writing – a put off – but mainly, for me the autistic boy would get in the way. I had no idea Hitler controlled the Lippizzaners – for his own evil reasons, obviously, and I would love to read a book about them, fiction or non-fiction.
    Mind you, I have been horse-mad all my life. 🙂

    Hugs, Sarah xx

    • This was new history to me too, and the number of horses they got through staggered and saddened me. Thanks, Sarah 💕🙂

      • Hitler had no respect for life – his own or animals, so I can imagine too well.

  9. This sounds like your usual veery fair review Harmony,which can only ever be pesented from the point of view of the reader, Yourself. Someone with an interest in the historical aspect of the horses may well rate it higher while someone looking for the actual life of an autistic person during this period may well rate it lower.
    Personally,I think it likely that there will be comparisons to WARHORSE as a story, even though the time period is different.
    As ever your review is thougfhtful and thorough and above all Fair.
    Huge Hugs to you..